Macau: P.V. Sindhu continued to take giant strides towards asserting herself as the rising star of Indian badminton by lifting the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold title with a thumping win over Canada’s Michelle Li in the summit clash, in Macau on Sunday.
The top-seeded 18-year-old won the match 21-15 21-12 in merely 37 minutes to clinch her second Grand Prix Gold title after the Malaysia Open in May.
The Indian sensation, who was bestowed the Arjuna award this year, was ruthlessly dominant from start to finish in the lop-sided encounter against the seventh-seeded Canadian.
In the first game, Sindhu raced to a 7-0 lead within just two minutes of start of play before Li finally registered herself on the score sheet.
But the Indian was relentless in her attack and never allowed any breathing space to her world number 30 rival.
Although Li managed to reduce the gap between the two to 9-6 at one stage but Sindhu managed to keep herself in front.
In the end, it took just 16 minutes for Sindhu to pocket the first game 21-15.
The second game started on a slightly even note with both players going neck and neck for the first few minutes. The scores were level at 5-5 with Li displaying better command over netplay. But Sindhu eventually broke through to go into the lead and was placed comfortably at 11-6 when the break was taken.
The Indian did not let the momentum shift even once after that as she piled on the points, showing better control of the baseline to emerge champion.
Sindhu walked away richer by $9,000 from the event which offered a total prize money of $120,000. (More) The year has been a remarkable one for the Hyderabad-based shuttler.
Besides the Malaysia Open triumph, she also became India’s first women’s singles medallist at the World Championship with back-to-back wins against fancied Chinese rivals in the mega-event.
This was India’s first singles medal at the World Championships since Prakash Padukone won a bronze in the 1983 edition.
She is seen as the next big thing in Indian badminton after Saina Nehwal, the Olympic bronze-medallist who has been enduring poor form this season.